Medical Impairment Rating

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Definition - What does Medical Impairment Rating mean?

A medical impairment rating is a clinical standard for measuring the extent of damage from an injury or condition sustained on the job by assigning a numerical value, usually a percentage that ranges between 0 %-100%, according to the American Medical Association (ADA), Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. A doctor conducts an impairment rating evaluation (IRE) to examine and quantify the nature of the condition to determine if an employee meets the criteria for full benefits and workers' compensation after 104 weeks of medical coverage ensues.

SureHire explains Medical Impairment Rating

Workplace accidents and injuries are financial liabilities for employers since an impairment results in workers' compensation benefits that often require an independent medical exam (IME) to ascertain a legitimate claim. A doctor conducts a functional capacity evaluation (FCE), which involves a battery of tests that coincide with a temporary or permanent impairment rating commensurate with the amount and duration of benefits an individual receives. Fraudulent insurance claims are often the source of discrepancies between employers and employees, underscoring the necessity for a medical impairment rating to justify long-term compensation.

An impairment is a neurological or physical condition that disrupts cognition or constrains mobility, while a disability is often a concomitant factor that hinders an individual’s ability to execute specific duties and tasks. An individual must reach the maximum medical improvement (MMI) threshold where the subject in question heals or recovers to a certain point before an IRE occurs. An IRE readout indicates the level of impairment percentage that gauges the workload an employee can perform along with compensatory restitution to accommodate their medical expenses.

Workplace accidents and injuries can impose financial setbacks to employers, but the majority of cases are legitimate and necessary in expediting the rehabilitation process for employees. A medical impairment rating is a fair appraisal in determining if an injury or illness qualifies as a partial or total impairment in proportion to the disability coverage that follows. However, employees might believe that a low percentage score is erroneous, designating a window of time to appeal or dispute the test findings for further analysis.

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